Time to rip out all those pipes and replace them:
Researchers have found elevated levels of lead in the drinking water of schools in Charlotte. Lead is highly toxic and impairs neurological function, especially in children. The report, conducted by researchers at the Environment America Research and Policy Center, found that 41 out of 89 schools in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg district had taps with lead exceeding 15 parts per billion, the Environmental Protection Agency's limit for lead in drinking water.
However, most medical and public-health experts say there is no safe level of lead for children. Drew Ball, director of the nonprofit organization Environment North Carolina, says this is a problem state officials and lawmakers can work together to fix. "When we find lead in tap water, we can put filters on, we can replace piping, we can make that change to ensure that our children's health is safe," says Ball.
What's even more stunning than these test results is the fact NC doesn't (and hasn't) required testing for lead in school water fountains. Is this a side-effect of how our schools are funded, with the state paying teacher salaries but counties being responsible for construction and maintenance of the facilities? Whatever the case, that should have been straightened out decades ago. And for those penny-pinching county commissioners out there who (always) seek the cheapest solution possible, that's just another false economy: